Scottish surveyors report rise in demand from prospective home buyers


NEW research has revealed that surveyors in Scotland reported an increase in the number of potential new home buyers in January.

A net balance of +22% of respondents to the latest residential market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said they’d seen an increase in new buyer demand – up from +20% in December and the highest since July 2021.

However, this was reported prior to the announcement in early February about a rise in interest rates.

Looking to the next three months, new sales expectations from respondents in Scotland were down slightly but still positive at +14%. When looking at the next year, sales were expected to improve by +45% of respondents.

A net balance of +68% of respondents in Scotland reported an increase in house prices, with a net balance of +35% of respondents expecting prices to rise over the next three months.

Alan Kennedy MRICS of Shepherd Chartered Surveyors in Fraserburgh said, “After a sluggish start to the year, the local market has now kicked into gear and activity levels are high given the time of year. Decent properties coming onto the market are typically selling quickly. Optimistic for the year ahead, though interest rate rises could impact buyer demand in due course.”

Greg Davidson MRICS of Graham + Sibbald in Perth added, “There continues to be a shortage of supply which is restricting market activity. It is still a sellers’ market with post lockdown demand still unsatisfied.”

Commenting on the UK picture, Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said, “The increase in new market appraisals is an encouraging signal that more supply may be funnelled onto the market over the coming months, but it remains to be seen whether any uplift in this area is sufficient to match the resilient trend in demand. That said, there is an inevitable question mark over the impact of rising interest rates allied to the jump in the cost of living on homebuyer sentiment.

“Notwithstanding these developing themes, for the time being the signals on the outlook for both prices and rents remains a little worrisome with the twelve-month RICS indicators for both at, or near, series highs. Moreover, this pattern is also being reflected in the metrics designed to capture the trends looking slightly further out.”